A Useful Guide to Requirements Traceability Matrix in 2023


An RTM or a requirements traceability document is an important piece of information that depicts the relationship between the requirements and the other artifacts that make up the project in question.

This document is also used to prove whether all of the requirements related to the project have been fulfilled or not. Some other things that this document consists of are tests, requirements, issues, and test results.

But before we discuss Requirements Traceability documents any further, let’s discuss what traceability is.

What is a Traceability Matrix?

what is requirements traceability

A traceability matrix is an intricate type of document that allows the project managers to co-relate any two baseline documents that have to be validated by a many-to-many relationship, in order to make sure that the relationship is complete.

Why is Requirements Traceability Matrix Important?

When it comes to testing, the main agenda or the main purpose of every tester should be to understand what the client is telling them or what the client wants in the software or the service that you are trying to develop.

This makes sure that when the service or the product is completed by the development team, it properly fulfills the needs and requirements of the clients, and is defect-free.

If you want to achieve such a product or service that is defect or error-free, you need to make sure that your QA team understands the requirements set by the clients associated with the product and they should create positive and negative test cases against those requirements.

This means that the software requirements that are provided by the clients have to be divided into smaller and smaller scenarios to make the test cases. The QA team just has to make sure that each test case should be executed individually otherwise the system won’t work.

One question that should have popped in your mind at this mind is how a single requirement presented by the users is tested according to all of the possible scenarios? How can you make sure that any requirement is not left out from the testing cycle?

Yeah, you guessed it right. Requirement Traceability Matrix.

Parameters of Requirements Traceability Matrix

Here is a list of parameters that we check our requirements against in an RTM.

  • Requirements ID
  • Requirements Type and Description
  • Test Cases with Status

Let’s now take a look at some of the things that an effective RTM can do.

  • An effective RTM can make sure that the requirements coverage in any number of cases is properly displayed
  • It can also display an accurate design status that can be executed for the specific test case in question
  • The RTM can also make sure that the current state of the requirements and all of the related defects associated with them are mentioned in the same matrix

So, this proves that this matrix is your One-Stop-Shop for all things product testing. Let’s now take a look at some different types of the Traceability test matrix.

See also:

All New Risk Matrix, Risk Custom Fields, and Much More

Three Different Types of Traceability Test Matrix

Here is a list of the different types of traceability test matrices that are used in the software engineering paradigm.

  • Backwards or Traceability
  • Forward Traceability
  • Bi-Directional Traceability

Let’s take a look at all of them in detail to find out how they are beneficial for you.

1. Backward Traceability

This type of traceability is done when you have to ensure whether the current product that you are trying to develop is on the right track or not.

The reason why you do this is because you need to verify that you and the development team are not expanding the scope of the project or the product being developed by adding design elements, code, and other tests that are not specified in the requirements.

2. Forward Traceability

This traceability is also used to check whether the progress of the product or project in question, is in the right direction or not, and whether or not the product is being developed for the right requirements or not.

So, this forward traceability makes sure that all of the requirements that are discussed are applied to the product at hand, and that each of those requirements was tested and tested thoroughly. It also helps you to map different requirements to their related test cases.

3. Bi-Directional Traceability

This type of traceability matrix ensures that all of the requirements that are discussed in the beginning are covered by the test cases being mentioned.

The matrix also analyses the impact of the changes in requirements that have been affected by the defects in a working product or vice versa.

Let’s now take a look at how you can create a traceability matrix.

How to Create a Traceability Matrix?

Here are some of the steps that you need to follow in order to create an effective traceability matrix.

1. Defining Your Goal

The first step is to make sure that all of your goals regarding a traceability matrix are well researched and properly defined. When you set your goal before starting your work, you are making sure that you are gathering the right or the relevant information for your matrix.

2. Gathering Your Artifacts

The second step is to gather all of the different artifacts that are going to help you build an effective traceability matrix. They are:

  • Tests
  • Requirements
  • Issues
  • Test results

3. Creating a Traceability matrix Template

Once you have all of your goals defined and all of the informative documents gathered for your matrix, you are ready to create a template for your matrix. To create an effective template, you should create the different columns in it.

  • Column 1: Issues
  • Column 2: Tests
  • Column 3: Requirements
  • Column 4: Test Results


How to Use the Risk Assessment Matrix in Project Management?

4. Copying Requirements from Your Requirements Document

The next step is to copy all of the requirements that have been mentioned in the requirements document associated with your project or product.

5. Copying Test Cases from Your Test case Document

The fifth step of the process is to copy all of the test cases that are mentioned in the test case document associated with the product or the project.

6. Copying Test Results and Issues

You need to perform this step in order to make sure that all of the test results that you are getting back are properly documented, as well as the issues associated with the project.

7. Updating the Traceability Matrix on a Regular Basis

One thing you need to understand is that the traceability matrix that you are creating should be updated on a regular basis otherwise there is a real issue of miscommunication between the team members and the manager.


This was a short guide on what requirement traceability matrix is, what is its importance and how you can create one. If you think that we need to add some more information to it, then mention it to us so that we can verify and update our archives.

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